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The West Coast Under Water

Curators’ corner

The West Coast Under Water

Nickolay Lamm has a knack for creating images that get your attention.

Just a few weeks after showing us “what Barbie would look like as an average woman,” the 24-year-old artist from Pittsburgh is revisiting an eye-opening project on rising sea levels. “What would sea level rise look like on the West Coast,” Lamm asks, and then answers with incredible imagery.

Lamm’s illustrations show beloved California cities being gradually swallowed by forecast sea rise. Lamm used stock photos, maps and Climate Central data to document a photographer’s view of iconic sites such as Venice Beach, San Francisco’s AT&T Park and the San Diego Convention Center through centuries of climate change. A series of images shows the sites first as they are now, and then as they would appear under 5, 12 and 25 feet of water.

The collection is a sequel to “Sea Level Rise in Real Life,” in which Lamm shows East Coast sites like South Beach, the Statue of Liberty and the Jefferson Memorial being threatened by rising water.

According to NOAA, 123 million people live along America’s coastline, and that number is expected to rise by at least 20 million by 2020. National Geographic reports that Global Mean Sea Levels have risen 4 to 8 inches over the past century, and the rate of sea-level rise has doubled over the past two decades.

Check out one of Lamm’s time lapses below, and click here for a nice slideshow courtesy of the Weather Channel. Then tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Courtesy of Nickolay Lamm

Courtesy of Nickolay Lamm

Courtesy of Nickolay Lamm

Courtesy of Nickolay Lamm

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